Irish Potato Leek Soup

This Irish potato leek soup is savory, creamy, cheesy, and so very satisfying.  Serve it with a crusty loaf of bread and a Spinach Salad With Bacon Dressing for a delicious dinner on a cool March evening – like St. Patrick’s Day!

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Bowl of Irish Potato Leek Soup - a warm comforting potato soup that is perfect for St. Patrick's Day.

If you’re looking for more recipes for your St. Paddy’s Day celebration, be sure to check out our Oven-Baked Corned Beef And Roasted Cabbage recipe.  Try Sweet And Sour Braised Cabbage for a little something different.  Then for a sweet finish, I highly recommend these luscious Raspberry Irish Stout Brownies.  Yum.


Did you know that both the French and the Irish lay claim to potato leek soup?  Both versions include potatoes, leeks, cream, and broth. 

However, the French serve their soup chilled and the Irish potato leek soup is served steaming hot.  I rather prefer hot soup, even in warmer weather.


  • Butter – Try Irish or European butter for a treat, but any butter works.  Don’t use margarine. You want the flavor of real butter.
  • Leeks, sweet onion, celery, and garlic – each vegetable adds another layer of flavor.  Leeks and celery tend to have dirt, grit, or sand on them. Be sure to wash them thoroughly.
  • White wine – preferably dry.  I used chardonnay.
  • Chicken stock 
  • Potatoes – I like using russets, Idaho, or Yukon Gold potatoes because they puree better, but any non-waxy potato will work for this soup.
  • Bay leaf, fresh thyme, salt, and pepper – all for flavor
  • Heavy cream – thickens the soup and adds creaminess.  For a lower calorie version, you could use half & half, canned milk, or whole milk.  Your soup will be a bit thinner in consistency, but will still taste incredible.
  • Cheddar cheese – shred your own cheddar instead of the pre-shredded variety. It will melt smoother and taste fresher.  It’s worth the effort.  I used an Irish cheddar, but use your favorite kind of cheese.


The last thing you want in your silky, creamy soup is grit.  Fortunately, leeks are really easy to clean.

  1. Use a sharp knife to cut off the root end.
  2. Peel away the tough, outer dark green layers.
  3. Slice the leek in half lengthwise and then horizontally into half-moons.
  4. Fill a large pot or bowl with cold water.
  5. Dump all of the sliced leeks into the cold water.
  6. Use your fingers to separate the layers of the leeks and swishing them around the water.  The leeks will float on top of the water and all the grit, sand, and dirt will sink to the bottom.
  7. Use a slotted spoon to remove the clean leeks to a colander to drain.  Don’t dump the leeks and water out into the colander because all the debris on the bottom of the pot or bowl will make your sliced leeks gritty and dirty again.

Bowl of Irish Potato Leek Soup - a warm comforting potato soup that is perfect for St. Patrick's Day.


This soup is easier than it sounds.

First, we are going to saute the vegetables in butter until soft.  

Next, deglaze the pan with wine.

Now pour in chicken stock and add the potatoes, bay leaf, thyme, salt, and pepper.  Boil until the potatoes are soft.

Puree the soup till smooth.  Stir in the cream and cheese and simmer until hot.

Ladle your soup into mugs, garnish and enjoy!  Pretty easy, right?

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Bowl of Irish Potato Leek Soup - a warm comforting potato soup that is perfect for St. Patrick's Day.


  • Author: Millie Brinkley
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes
  • Yield: 6 Servings 1x


Irish Potato Leek Soup makes for an easy, comforting, and hearty St.Patrick’s Day lunch or dinner.



2 tablespoons butter

4 large leeks, thoroughly washed and sliced (white and very light green parts only)

½ large sweet onion, chopped

3 stalks celery, chopped

1 large garlic clove, minced

½ cup dry white wine

8 cups chicken stock

2 pounds potatoes (about 6 large), peeled and diced

1 bay leaf

2 teaspoons finely minced fresh thyme

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup shredded Irish cheddar cheese


Melt the butter in a large dutch oven over medium heat.

Add the leeks, onion, celery, and garlic.  Cook, stirring often until the vegetables are softened – about 8 minutes.

Pour in the white wine.  Bring the wine to a boil, scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to loosen any browned bits.

Pour in the chicken stock and add the potatoes, bay leaf, thyme, salt, and pepper.

Bring the mixture to a boil and cook until the potatoes are soft – about 20 minutes.

Remove and discard the bay leaf.

Use an immersion blender to blend the soup until smooth.

Reduce the heat to low.

Pour in the heavy cream and add the shredded cheese.

Simmer, stirring often to prevent sticking, until the cheese has melted and the soup has thickened – about 20 minutes.

Ladle into bowls and serve hot, garnished with sliced leeks, crumbled bacon, a dollop of sour cream, or shredded cheese.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Category: Starters - Soups
  • Method: Simmer
  • Cuisine: Irish

Keywords: Irish potato leek soup, potato soup, leeks, Irish food, St.Patrick's Day, comfort food, soup recipes, Irish cheddar cheese

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